KLM has today unveiled new slimline seating for its fleet of B777 aircraft, which ply the Dutch carrier's most important long distance routes.
The new thinner seating will eventually be installed right across KLM's fleet of older B777-200ERs and newer B777-300ERs.
But, sadly, passengers will discover that the ten-across 3-4-3 layout already fitted to the B777-300ERs will now be extended to the B777-200ERs. Currently, the B777-200ERs are configured 3-3-3.
Details of the new Recaro CL 3710 seating, already installed on one B777-200ER, were revealed by the Dutch aviation website luchtvaartniews.nl.
KLM is the launch customer for this seating which is lighter, while the magazine rack on the seat in front has been raised to provide more legroom.
KLM is also making improvements to the inflight entertainment system which will now offer much more variety. Screen size has also been increased to nine inches.
Conversion of the 15 B777-200ERs in the KLM fleet will take place between now and the end of next year.
KLM will take delivery of two new B777-300ERs in 2015 and these will come with the new seating already installed at the Boeing factory. Its existing B777-300ERs will be retrofitted after 2015.
Slimline seats are increasingly being installed by airlines around the world. But this is one of the first applications yet seen on a long-haul aircraft. It remains to be seen what the reaction from passengers will be.
The seat designer is Hella Jongerius, who also designed the airline's new business class, featuring fully-flat beds.
The new B777-200ER configuration will be almost the same as before. In other words, 34 seats in business, 40 in economy comfort (KLM's version of premium economy) and 242 in regular economy class.
The first B777-200ER with this new seating will reportedly enter service almost immediately on the Amsterdam-Fukuoka route.
Last week, it was announced that KLM will next week operate up to four weekly flights to Edmonton (see news, November 6).